The basis for the recommendations to reduce fat and saturated fat is the Diet-Heart Theory which is generally accepted by the medical and public health bodies. Essentially it concludes that the concentration of total cholesterol in the blood (TC) is a risk factor for heart disease. It follows from this that any factor which increases TC will increase the chances of dying from heart disease. By the same logic anything that reduces TC will also reduce the risks of heart disease. Saturated fat (SFA) is considered to increase TC and therefore increase the risk of developing heart disease whereas polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) is believed to have the opposite effect and will therefore reduce the risks. These are the precise grounds for concluding that SFA is ‘’bad’’ and should therefore be reduced and PUFA is ‘’good’’ and an increase would be beneficial to health. The NHS in the UK has endorsed this rationale. According to the NHS Choices website, TC should be lowered because there is evidence which: “strongly indicates that high cholesterol can increase the risk of: narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis), heart attack , stroke , mini-stroke This is because cholesterol can build up in the artery wall, restricting the flow of blood to your heart, brain and the rest of your body. It also increases the chance of a blood clot developing somewhere.” It goes on to...Read More
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